The Porsche 911 is quite possibly the most versatile sports car ever produced. Primarily known for its track prowess, the 911 finds its station in many different venues. From bombing down dirt roads, to auto-x events, or spirited driving through the mountains, the 911 can do it all. Sadly, most are relegated to bumper-to-bumper daily commutes. As such, anytime we see one being used in a new and fun way, we tend to take notice. The car before you belongs to Brock Keen, he too appreciates the diversity that is the 911. That’s why he owns a Porsche 911 with a roof top tent.
Like many of us, Brock has had a long love affair with the wares of Porsche. For him, this love has blossomed into the whimsical arrangement before you. If you follow him on Instagram, you will undoubtedly see a ton of commenters wondering: isn’t the tent too heavy for the little Porsche? Surprisingly, no. As it turns out, the 996 (aka 911) is perfectly suited for such chicanery. In fact, after evaluating Brock’s setup, Yakima has certified the Porsche 996 as the only car rated for a roof tent. But how, this is a sports car?
Porsche rates the dynamic roof capacity of the 996 at 165 lbs, and Yakima lists their roof tent at 115 lbs. This puts his setup safely under maximum capacity … unlike many overland rigs on the ‘gram, cough cough.
To be fair, Brock doesn’t consider his car an overland rig, or use it for traditional overlanding purposes. His lifestyle is geared more towards car camping and spirited driving. So, don’t expect to find a fridge/freezer or batwing awning adorning his car. Instead, it’s just a dirt simple arrangement that allows him to use his car for daily life.
The current setup is refreshingly simple. Take a 2004 Porsche 996 C4S (all wheel drive), strap on set of Yakima bars and Yakima tent, then roll out. That’s it, and we’re fine with it. To be honest, the Porsche doesn’t need much to be a great road trip machine. Maybe it’s because they are so fun to drive that it’s easy to forget how long you’re in the car, or perhaps, it’s the thoughtful engineering baked into every seam? A nice long road trip down the West Coast is a great way to see for yourself. As a resident of Oregon, Brock was able to do just this. For Porsche’s 70th birthday, he drove the 1500 mile trip to the Rennsport Reunion and camped along the way. Other than some wind noise, there was nothing strange to report.
For those who have never had the pleasure, the 996 is a surprisingly comfortable car, even on long road trips. 911’s in general have some of the most comfortable factory seats ever produced -which makes perfect sense once you consider that they are produced by Recaro. The cabin is exceptionally quiet, and unlike its air cooled ancestors, the climate control is much more refined. The only real drawback is the ground clearance, but even that is suitable for most forest roads and camping areas. This is due in part to the 911’s flat underbelly.
His car may be a bit crazy to some, but we love it. One thing’s for sure, I bet Brock receives fewer “what size tires are you “running”, or what bumper is that?” inquiries than most of us. I’m sure he contends with a few raised eyebrows or WTF looks on occasion though. If you ask me, it’s entirely worth it! I guess Porsche can now add car camping to the long list of things a Porsche 911 can do.
To see more of Brock’s car, you can find him on Instagram under @996roadtrip.
Images by Brock Keen and Brandon Haley